The Man’s Guide to Corporate Culture: A Practical Guide to the New Normal and Relating to Female Co-Workers in the Modern Workplace by Heather Zumarraga

10. The Secret Rules to Successfully Work With Women

  • One survey indicates that 84% of men are fearful of being accused of sexual harassment even if they do nothing wrong. What follows are Heather’s 13 rules with important details. These rules are all dealt with elsewhere in the book. If you want to get someone clued in fast just tell them to read this chapter.

11. The Seven Deadly Sins on the Job

  • The rules in chapter ten tell you what to do. These deadly sins tell you what not to do, and they should be common sense. They are also dealt with throughout the book so add this chapter to chapter ten for anyone in a hurry. One I would expand on is excessive drinking at happy hour. For the last thirty years of my career, I was a supervisor. As a building principal, I would be invited to happy hour, which was attended by some staff members. I would have one drink, talk to everyone, and then let everyone know that I had family obligations. I also invited the entire staff to my house once a year and served wine and beer. I poured the first drink for everyone and noticed who was helping themselves to more. They could see I was watching and at no time did anyone drink too much.
  • Drinking as part of your job needs to be managed. Cocktail parties where there are no work colleagues are places to practice the control you will need for work-related drinking. You can always order a non-alcoholic drink or have a glass of water before you have a second drink. Drink slowly, count your drinks, and follow the behavior rules in this book.

12. How to Protect Yourself

  • If you expect all women to be fair-minded about accusations of harassment you have misjudged the trajectory of the #MeToo movement. Some employers have taken action without due process. Even though 20% of harassment happens to men, they are 50% less likely to report it. Harassment suits are won at trial only 2% of the time, but 37% are settled, which means someone gets paid. Remember, you can lose your job and still not lose in court. It’s very important to protect yourself by behaving in a manner that is completely above reproach. Consensual workplace relationships aren’t safe.

13. Playing the Corporate Gentleman Part

  • Even if everyone dresses casually at work, try to be the best casual dresser. First impressions are important and largely based on what you wear. Also, fit matters so get sized by a professional. Iron your clothes and shine your shoes. And don’t run them into the ground. Dressing well gives you a running start in every interview and every interaction. If you aren’t sure what to wear, ask the receptionist. After I got married I let me wife dress me. As a result I always looked shape on the job.

14. Coroporate Etiquette for Men

  • There is no single set of universal manners. Be prepared to introduce yourself. Develop an elevator pitch and practice it. Let ladies go first and be sure to give them credit. Avoid coming across as a narcissist as it projects a lack of confidence. Workplace bullying is four times more prevalent than workplace sexual harassment or racial discrimination. Watch for it and do what you can to fight it.
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